senior lady looking at arm bruise

We all experience it, especially as we grow older. Perhaps while cleaning, we run into the edge of the coffee table, never giving it a second thought. But by the next day, a blotch of purple hues has spread across the wounded area. How could such an awful bruise result from such a minor accident?

It may look worrying, but if a senior loved one bruises easily, know that it is relatively common. Thinning skin coupled with a reduced amount of body fat often means that even a tiny scrape or bump can cause more significant bruising than it would for more youthful skin.

The aging care team at Morning Glory Home Care, a provider of Highland senior home care, offers the following tips to help lower the possibilities for bruising, and to help bruises heal quicker when they do occur:

Preventing Bruises:

  • Evaluate the senior’s home, both inside and outside, to verify that there are wide, clear walkways. Get rid of any hazards that could cause the person to stumble, trip, or bump into objects. Morning Glory Home Care offers safety assessments as well, to make sure all bases are covered.
  • Encourage the older adult to put on long-sleeved shirts and long pants when they are performing activities that could cause damage or stress to the skin.
  • If the senior smokes, help them to stop. Smoking negatively affects the body’s ability to produce collagen, which can lead to easier bruising.
  • Make certain the person’s diet contains sufficient amounts of vitamin C, which plays an important role in the creation of collagen.
  • Understand that certain medications can raise the chance of bruising (but know too that the senior should never stop taking any medication without checking with a doctor):
    • Aspirin
    • NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen)
    • Anticoagulants (coumadin, heparin)
    • Corticosteroids
    • Antiplatelet meds

Helping Bruises to Heal:

  • Put a cold pack on the bruised spot for 20 minutes to reduce the flow of blood to that particular location. This can help decrease the size of the bruise while reducing inflammation.
  • If possible, elevate the area that is bruised.
  • Cover the bruise with a compression bandage to lower swelling.

If a bruise shows up for seemingly no reason, or if you are at all concerned by a certain bruise, contact the doctor right away. This is particularly crucial if the senior has started taking a new medication, or if bleeding is occurring in the nose, gums, or other area of the body.

At Morning Glory Home Care, our Highland senior home care helps older people continue to enjoy an active lifestyle while decreasing the risk of injury. A few of the many different ways we accomplish this are through:

  • Assistance with bathing, showering, and other personal care needs, such as skin care
  • Support and help as needed with walking or transferring
  • Ensuring a clean and organized home environment that is free from fall hazards
  • Assisting with exercise programs to improve balance and strength
  • Watching for and reporting any changes in condition immediately
  • And much more

Reach out to us any time for additional skin care recommendations and to learn more about our full selection of customized senior care services. We’re pleased to offer an absolutely free in-home consultation at your convenience. Call us today at 618-667-8400 and let us know how we can assist! Visit our Service Area page for a full list of the communities we serve.